Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
When we were in Wrocław, Mateusz told us to look out for dwarfs in the city centre. These statues are quite an attraction.
Wrocław’s dwarfs (krasnale) are small figurines with a hight of 20 to 30 cm. They first appeared in the streets of Wrocław in 2005. Since then, their numbers have been continually growing, and today they are considered a tourist attraction. In April 2019, there were already 600 dwarfs in the city. Six are located outside the city at the LG plant in Biskupice Podgórne.
In 2001, to commemorate the Orange Alternative, Poland’s anti-communist movement), a monument of a dwarf – the movement’s symbol – was officially placed on Świdnicka Street, where the group’s gatherings used to take place.
In 2003, then-mayor of Wrocław Rafał Dutkiewicz wanted to promote this new tradition. He unveiled a small plaque on the door of The Dwarfs’ Museum. It can be found at the height of human knees on the wall of a historic tenement called Jaś, which is situated between the Market Square and St. Elizabeth’s Church.
The figures of the dwarves, which are smaller than the Orange Alternative monument on Świdnicka Street, were placed in different parts of the city.
The first five, designed by Tomasz Moczek, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, were placed in August 2005. These were ‘The Fencer‘ near the University of Wrocław, ‘The Butcher‘ in the Stare Jatki arcade, two Sisyphuses on Świdnicka Street and the Odra-Washer-Dwarf, near Piaskowy Bridge. The name of the last dwarf is related to Pracze Odrzańskie, an estate on the outskirts of the city. Since that time, the number of figures has continued growing.
More dwarfs have been installed later. The Dwarfs’ Festival takes place in Wrocław every year in September.
We found over ten of these statues.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.